Giant Bomb News


Microsoft to Pull Complete Reversal on Xbox One DRM Policies

Sources indicate Microsoft is going to move away from what's caused the company so much headache.

UPDATED: Microsoft has confirmed these policy changes are happening.


The tug-of-war between Microsoft and Sony just got more interesting. Multiple sources inform me Microsoft will announce what amounts to a complete reversal on its DRM policies for Xbox One today.

What does this mean?

  • No more always online requirement
  • The console no longer has to check in every 24 hours
  • All game discs will work on Xbox One as they do on Xbox 360
  • An Internet connection is only required when initially setting up the console
  • All downloaded games will function the same when online or offline
  • No additional restrictions on trading games or loaning discs
  • Region locks have been dropped

It is unclear what caused this huge change in policy right after E3, a week where Microsoft executives spent days explaining, justifying, and talking about its policies to the press. I suspect Microsoft’s official announcement will say something to the effect of “we've been closely listening to consumer feedback.”

Based on what I’m being told, that’s definitely true.

I've reached out to Microsoft for comment.

Microsoft has taken an enormous amount of heat regarding DRM policies with its new console. Sony became consumer heroes at E3, announcing PlayStation 4 would not treat used games differently, and the status quo would reign. The company released this video, twisting the knife:

Of course, Xbox One is still $499 and PlayStation 4 is still $399. But today moves the needle.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
Edited by Ghost_of_Perdition

Rumor or not, I don't care. I've already made my decision, and I'm buying a PS4 first.

One last West coast Scoop. :)

Edited by Cirdain


Edited by OleMarthin

i hope this dosent mean that i have to have the disk in or that the shared games with 10 people are gone... non of the restrictions bothers me, if they made it possible to play offline while the disc is in and put the time to 48 houers between checks when playing from the hardrive it would be perfect

Edited by jiggajoe14

Scoops just shut down the damn internet.

Edited by MetalBaofu

Man...makes me think they were not liking the number of pre-orders they were getting or something.

I'm still getting a PS4, but I guess now I would consider getting an Xbox One in the future when the price drops(if they have enough exclusive games I want to play on it).

Edited by Hishighness

Too little, too late.

Edited by JoeyRavn

Patrick moves back to Chicago, casually drops the most mind-blowing exclusive scoop of the past seven years, and potentially, of the whole generation. Because he's fucking Scoop, yo. Respect, Patrick.

Edited by Superfriend

Ha. Great news! Now, if only they would put the (mandatory) kinect to where it belongs (the garbage can) and release the thing for 399..


Everything seems possible with a company run by freaking chaos manifested.

Edited by mrfluke
Edited by isomeri

Go Scoops!

Edited by Colonel_Fury

@borklund said:

They're going to pull a 360 and walk away from the Xbox One DRM policies.

Pretty sure that would mean that they would still be walking towards their DRM policies.

What are you, a mathematician of sumthin'?

Edited by jambot13

Total clown shoes.

Edited by Impossibilium

Ha, now official.

I knew this would happen as soon as Sony dropped the mic. I said at the time it was far too soon to reverse stance the day after because it would seem like Sony forced their hand and "based on customer feedback" would be the only way to change their PR stance.

Edited by Buttmonk3y

With them Saying that the consoles have to be always on blah blah blah, this meant that their cloud services that off load certain processes would technically "work" as every consumer would have to be online. With this now no longer a must, does it mean devs cant rely on this?

Edited by Marokai

Massive expressions of consumer outrage made this possible. When someone tells you that petitions and twitter campaigns don't work, remind them of this day. Consumer action did this. Pretty fucking incredible.

Edited by Nettacki

Ok, so what about the whole "Kinect is always watching you" thing? Is that still going on or has it been remedied before?

Edited by jiggajoe14

Scoops just shut down the damn internet.

Edited by mnzy

@ei8htbit said:

Not that I don't have faith in Scoops, but this definitely needs to be confirmed before any relevant actions can take place. But if it is so, this would be HUGE (well, not to me because, frankly, used physical disc based games don't really matter (even though they seem to)). This would effectively take away the over-inflated crutch Sony has been leaning on for their entire platform in one fell swoop and instead of being muddled by fringe use-case policies consumers could actually focus on the relevant merits of each system.

In my honest opinion though, I don't see Microsoft actually doing this. I think it's more realistic to see a second SKU option with price drop. Then again, with so much at stake and the frivolous nature of word of mouth influence I guess anything is possible.

Winter is coming folks..

It is confirmed:

Edited by Stonyman65

Ho-Lee shit!

I never thought they would actually do it.

Your move, Sony.

Edited by fizzylift

That's cool do I still have to pay 12 dollars a month for P2p internet with all the media shit locked behind that? Do I still have to deal with 12 year olds on their shitty online service and bad selection of games? Do I still have to have the shitty kinect and pay 100 dollars more?
Edited by TheSouthernDandy

I knew this was coming, just didn't think it would be this soon.

Good on you MS for listening. Makes the console so much more attractive.

Edited by megalowho

Oh hey, site was down. Just stopping by to SCOOOOOPS

Edited by plaintomato

@stimpack said:

Hahahaha. Wow. What? I'll wait and see.

Also, I'm sorry, but this just makes them look like incompetent fools. They've planned this whole elaborate DRM business and it has blown up in their faces. All the while they're preaching about how wonderful their plan is and how worthless their customers are. This isn't about improving customer relations. This isn't a favor. This is about money.

About money? Duh. Why do you think Sony did it? Because they love you?

Both companies are all about the money. Sony was just smart enough to let MS lead the way on these issues, see the kickback, get executive buy in, and react quickly - seizing the opportunity for money, not because they are overwhelmed with charitable feeling towards you.

Now MS, about the indie lock-out and that DDR3 RAM with 3GB reserved for the OS...

Edited by Nictel

A great improvement! In the end this is good for everyone.

Edited by Etaber

Doesn't this now put pretty big limitations on what they can do with the cloud since consoles do not have to be constantly connected to their network? Or will portions of game features/content just not be available to users without an internet connection?......

The old requirement was only every 24 hours so they would have had to have something planned anyway. All the new features related to the check like sharing and playing without the disc are gone now. I guess real digital distribution will have to wait another generation.

Edited by m2cks

@borklund said:

They're going to pull a 360 and walk away from the Xbox One DRM policies.

Pretty sure that would mean that they would still be walking towards their DRM policies.


Edited by TheMasterDS

@willthemagicasian: Looks like. Guess we'll all just have to buy digital only this gen. Except for Wii U where installing rules are crazy.

Hey, look at that, Wii U is the most crazy restrictive console again because of its dumb digital content policies! Hilarious.

Edited by LoveSpuds

Matters little to me, M$ have a long track record of shitting on gamers, its a bit late to start announcing new exclusive now, what about the last 3 years you gobshite's!

Edited by Hunter5024

Is it weird that I find this a little disappointing? I was kind of interested in seeing what kinds of crazy systems MIcrosoft would create in order to try and stay competitive despite their draconian restrictions. I'm happy to see they're doing this, but still, it lost a little of what makes it unique.

Edited by Jeust

Nice to have them reverse their policies, still there are other issues to consider. Things like a library consisting of mostly shooters, and very few exclusives that aren't Halo, Forza and Gears of War. That and the drought in exclusives consumers experienced in the last 4 years.

Edited by Nictel

A great improvement! In the end this is good for everyone.

Edited by Hooray4Larz

@stimpack: I know, right? Anyone would think we were talking about COMPANIES here. Jesus wept.

Edited by BadNews

Sorry MS. I loved XB360 but now I already preordered the PS4. Might get the XB1 after a price drop though.

Edited by Chucklestyle

"I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet. But your kids are going to love it."

I actually have mixed feelings about this. As long as it doesn't affect games that were going to take advantage of the always on connectivity, I guess it's alright. All my years of using Steam on the PC had already prepared me for a digital-based console, so it wasn't a big deal to me, although I can understand why it is to others. This will definitely help them in markets where internet is not all that great.

I still can't help but feel like they could have still implemented some of this stuff if it had been presented properly, i.e. "Think of the way games work on Xbox Live arcdade today. Well now all games work like that."

It's people's attachment to what they think a disc represents and what it actually does that causes these kinds of PR explosions. I see this as a super-large scale version of the way the community reacted to DLC being on disc in SFxTekken and Gears of War 3.

Edited by Itwastuesday

[X] always online

[X] region lock

[X] proprietary DRM

[ ] Kinect + Microsoft NSA cooperation

[ ] 500$

Edited by GalacticPunt

Patrick, you magnificent son-of-a-bitch, you SCOOPED 'em all! And you haven't even moved back to the Central Time Zone yet! Microsoft's and Giant Bomb's websites are both melting.

Edited by FlipperDesert

Doesn't matter at this point.

Edited by MarkusRJR

This is awesome, now I can actually consider getting a Xbone instead of hating it. Just need to see some good games now.

Edited by GIyn

Microsoft better get their disc based DRM made quickly....

Edited by MelficeVKM

I'd like to say it's too little too late, what with the PR damage having been done, but my guess is by November all of this won't be so fresh in peoples' minds.

Let's hope this makes Microsoft (and other companies) think twice before forcing silly policies!

Edited by WiqidBritt

Good job guys, you've managed to kill a lot of interesting things about the Xbox One. Now the disk is required to play games you bought on disk, which means you can't instantly switch to any game you get an invite to unless you bought it digitally. It also means you can't take your entire game collection with you to any Xbox One you signed into your account on, and no 10 member family account plan either. No household family has 10 people in it, this was obviously their quiet answer to being able to lend games to your friends.

Edited by chan05

about time! But still, 500 euros is too much. Get rid of Kinect and i'll preorder immediately.

Edited by McGhee

" Multiple sources inform me Microsoft will announce...."

oh god the vague rumor scoops strike again. Can we please get credible sources before we post Patrick?

Journalists have gone to prison because they would not reveal their sources. If the source is unnamed, there's a reason for it.

Edited by RareMonkey
Edited by Brackynews


/musses hair lovingly


The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.

This theoretically means Steam will be the most likely frontrunner to bring sharing and reselling of digital titles to consumers. Most interesting!

Sorry Vinny. ;__;

Edited by eag67

This is Patrick doing one last scoop and dropping the mic before he leaves. Love the Bomb

Edited by skipper00

Thats cool and all but whats to stop Microsoft changing their policies again in a year or two? Sill don't trust them.

Edited by Purple_eye

A scoop so big you broke the internet. BIG SCOOOOOPS!!!!!

Edited by SathingtonWaltz

I'll wait for the official announcement, but if this turns out to be true it allays the only minor misgiving I had about XONE. I wasn't going to get either console before now, but now I'm thinking about the next Xbox because their game lineup is way more interesting to me. Touche.

Edited by Sesquipedaliant

This isn't a victory, it's holding back progress on consoles for another generation. The policies were too restrictive, but now all the benefits (digital library, sharing, quick snapping to games, less dependence on big box retail model, etc.) are all gone.With this race-to-the-bottom, it's been assured that the next generation will just the same consoles with a bit more power.

I hope they'll find a way to give users a choice to do full-install from disc, but I doubt it.